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‘Simpsons’ Creator on Apu Controversy: ‘People Love to Pretend They’re Offended’

In a recent interview with USA Today, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening addressed the criticism around character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon for the first time, and seemingly questioned the outrage.

When asked about his thoughts on critics claiming Apu represented a racist stereotype, Groening said, “I’m proud of what we do on the show. And I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended.”

He also spoke about a “Simpsons” episode that aired on April 8, when during a scene, Lisa faces the camera and says, “Something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive is now politically incorrect. What can you do?” She then looks over at a framed picture of Apu, which has the line, “Don’t have a cow!” written on it.

Marge responds by saying, “Some things will be dealt with at a later date,” to which Lisa says, “If at all.” Rather than elaborating on what that meant, Groening said, “We’ll let the show speak for itself.”

Comedian Hari Kondabolu was one of the first to publicly address issues with the show’s character with his documentary “The Problem With Apu,” which debuted in November. Apu, voiced by Hank Azaria, is an Indian-American Kwik-E-Mart owner in Springfield.

Kondabolu responded to Groening’s recent comments on Twitter, saying he “sounds like every other troll on the internet who didn’t see the documentary. No one is offended by this character. It was, at times, insulting and was frustrating to many of us who were solely represented by that one image.”

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